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Are Solar Panels Waterproof? [Can Water Damage Them?]

Tim Carter
Written by Tim Carter Last Updated: August 8, 2022

You have seen solar panels on rooftops and large solar farms in which solar panels are exposed to all sorts of weather. So are solar panels waterproof or there is a way to protect them from rain?

As they are built to withstand harsh weather, solar panels are waterproof. However, the wiring and the electronics inside are not impervious to water damage. Yet, layers of glass, a metal frame, and a unique glue and sealer make solar panels waterproof.

Table of Contents

Are Solar Panels Water Resistant?

Solar panels are made to be as water-resistant as possible because they are exposed to harsh weather conditions for many years at a time.

All house solar panels are waterproof and, in the unlikely event that water harms them, solar panel manufacturers usually have a warranty that should often protect your investment.

Can Water Damage Solar Panels?

Solar cells in solar panels produce electricity. The solar panel’s wiring collects the electricity.

The wiring and other electronics found inside solar panels are where water might cause the most harm. For this reason, solar panel manufacturers protect these more delicate components during the production process.

Solar panels are waterproof thanks to several materials that are used in their construction. A sheet of glass and a robust, polymer-based substance typically protect the front and back of solar panels.

Solar panels are waterproof and impervious to water damage because of these two layers, a metal frame, and a unique glue and sealer.

A warranty for solar panel equipment offers defense against issues relating to the solar panel’s actual construction quality.

Premature wear and tear, manufacturing flaws, and environmental problems are a few examples of what the equipment warranty may cover.

The manufacturer’s warranty will safeguard your investment into your solar system in the unlikely event that your solar panels are not waterproof and water destroys a solar panel.

In some situations, the manufacturer of your solar panels will cover the cost of a new panel and its shipping and installation.

The typical equipment warranty is 10–12 years long.

What Does a Production Warranty Cover?

The production warranty of a solar panel covered underperforming solar panels. A solar panel’s performance deteriorates over time, just like other electronics, and its energy output gradually declines.

Production guarantees typically provide a 90% production guarantee after 10 years or an 80% production guarantee after 25 years.

This means that your solar panels should produce at least 90% (or 80%, after 25 years) of the power they did when they were first installed after just 10 years of operation.

A non-waterproof solar panel might be submerged in water, which would reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the solar cells or perhaps shatter some of them.

Your solar panel manufacturer will replace the water-damaged panel if this occurs to your panels because they are unlikely to provide enough power to fulfill their production warranty claim.

Can Solar Panels Work in All Weather?

Solar panels can withstand most weather-related stress and function even in cloudy conditions.

There is no reason for property owners in frigid climates to be concerned about snow.

Solar panels can support a lot of weight without breaking, and colder temperatures can increase photovoltaic cell production.

Even extreme occurrences like hurricanes and hailstorms often have little impact on solar panels since sturdy racking methods prevent damage from strong winds and the tough glass coating on most panels withstands most hailstorms.

Are Waterproof and Water Resistant the Same?

Being waterproof and water-resistant is not the same.

A piece of clothing that is waterproof will provide the wearer with prolonged water protection. A water-resistant product or material will stop water from penetrating, but only to a certain extent.

There are various levels of waterproofing, so it’s important to be specific about how waterproof you want something to be.

You can establish how water-resistant a product is using the industry-standard Ingress Protection (IP) rating system.

The important electrical components are protected by an enclosure, are sealed, and have an IP65 or higher rating, so water spraying them will not harm them.

Because we always position our solar panels outside (they cannot gather solar energy efficiently in closed space, right?), solar panel manufacturers produce them to withstand rain.

Some solar panels may withstand water immersion because their components are rated to IP68 (submersion deeper than 1m), but you don’t have any reasons to submerge your solar panels, do you?

Although the electrical connections will deteriorate over time and could eventually break, the solar cells are water-resistant.

Despite years of exposure to rain and sun, the cells in a flexible solar panel will function for a long time.

Galvanic corrosion occurs once the conductor becomes exposed, and that’s why a solar panel will stop functioning.

Can Rain Damage Solar Panels?

Most areas on Earth get year-round precipitation. Due to this, prospective solar energy system owners are concerned that rain may damage their system or affect its effectiveness.

Rain doesn’t affect your solar energy system and cannot affect solar panels because they are weatherproof.

Actually, rain is great since it helps remove some of the dirt and debris that accumulates over time on the panels.

When hurricanes or other severe storms are a possibility, solar companies securely connect solar panels to a building to prevent wind uplift. As a result, solar panels are less likely to be harmed by flying debris during storms.

If you suffer storm-related panel damage, the equipment warranty offered by solar panel manufacturers will cover any damages to the solar panels. Before purchasing a solar energy system, speak with your solar contractor who can help you understand the warranty.

Unfortunately, rain clouds will diminish the amount of solar energy you can generate.

To avoid operations being hampered when clouds form, it is best to switch crucial solar-powered equipment to a non-solar power source.

How To Protect Solar Panels from Rain?

By positioning the panels at an angle, you can naturally shield them from the intense rain.

Pick a location where water can run off and keep the panel clean and functional by doing so.

If you have a lot of panels, you might be able to do this remotely with an autonomous solar panel movement system.

Final Thoughts

A waterproof item of clothing will offer the wearer all-day water protection. On the other hand, water will not pierce a water-resistant object or material, but only to a certain point.

Solar panels are waterproof because they are made to withstand inclement weather.

The wiring and electronics inside are not water-resistant, though. Solar panels are watertight thanks to multiple layers of glass, a metal frame, and special glue and sealer.


Tim Carter
Tim Carter

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